High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development closed its annual session on July 8, 2015, with the adoption of a declaration that committed ministers from around the world to establishing a ‘strong, universal, ambitious, inclusive and people-centered’ post-2015 development agenda that completes the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals and responds to new challenges. (DESA News 2015)
The ministers welcomed what had been achieved through the Millennium Development goals, and now as the next step, the High level Political Forum can implement its task, first envisioned at the 2012 RIO+20 Conference visioning “The Future We Want.”
The HLPF is now providing leadership and political guidance for the implementation of the SDGs bringing enhanced coherence to the framework of institutions responsible for the follow-up and review of the new agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The High Level Political Forum which includes Ministers from UN member states is now poised to prepare for its 2016 meeting to continue the work of assessing the MDGs and their successor, the SDGs.
The deliberations and outcome statements of the HLPF were forwarded to the Third International Conference on Financing for Development meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Conference adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These goals will protect the environment and improve economic prospects worldwide. The General Assembly will adopt these goals at its meeting in September, 2015. The cost of implementation is estimated to be $3 trillion annually. Additional financing will come from the developing countries generating more domestic tax revenues.
The ability of multinational corporations to shift profits to countries registered with low taxation proved to be a sticking point. The UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters will address the issue.
There was no agreement on developed countries’ commitment of aid. The statement did reaffirm the 0.7% of gross national income to foreign aid that countries have already agreed to support. Only a few countries fulfill this commitment.
There was agreement on debt relief, limits on “vulture funds” that trade on distressed debt, and/or transparency in credit arrangements.(BBC News 7/16/15)
UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Miambo Ngcuka stated that the Action Agenda “makes a strong political commitment to “ensure gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment in setting a global framework for financing for development.